Westlake on the Issues: Term Limits

Installment two of my ongoing series exploring U.S. Senate candidate Dave Westlake’s ideas on the issues Wisconsinites care most about will focus on term limits. On his campaign website, Dave Westlake shares his thoughts on the term limits, which piqued my curiosity, given a recent discussion in an entry earlier this week. In sharing his thoughts on term limits, Westlake makes it clear he supports term limits for elected officials (emphasis mine):

I believe that society benefits from limiting our elected officials’ terms. The continuous turnover of representation ensures that the evolving needs of the citizenry are always being met and that failed or stale programs are constantly challenged or reversed, as needed.

The initial intent of our Founding Fathers was for elected officials to serve a set amount of time as part of their civic duty, then return to private life and allow someone else to partake in public service. This idea is not passe. I fully support implementing term limits in Congress, placing a cap of 12 years of service in any one elected office.

If the initial intent of our founding fathers was for elected officials to serve a set amount of time in public service before returning to private life, why weren’t term limits written into the Constitution or the Bill of Rights? Further, since Westlake is attempting to divine the intent of the founding fathers, are we to assume he supports a more loose interpretation of the Constitution, as opposed to being a strict constructionist?


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